About Me

For the past ten years, I have undertaken the development of my art with a serious commitment to deepen my experience with tools and push the boundaries of my practice. On the canvas I want to convey the history and essence of the scenes I paint;

I see art-making as a way to reduce this sense of “otherness,” in order to encourage viewers to see and respect what others may experience and to engender more empathy for the human journey.

As I have a keen interest in women’s issues, some of my works contain references to hidden or rising power and strength. As an avid reader, I like to incorporate references to literature and my passion for gardening shows up with the use of vivid floral colors. While I have experimented with a variety of styles and media, I like the forgiveness of acrylic and the pure pigment of pastels.  I sometimes incorporate found objects to add a connection to what inspires me, bridging the canvas to the physical world.

Recently, after years of representational work, I have begun painting abstractly and in the style of "disrupted realism.” This has enabled me to focus more on essential elements, rather than on a representation of form. This approach makes room for the "other." In seeking to incorporate more of the experience of the art, I also weave in text and ephemera with collage and in correspondence with paint.

My Cookbook series evolved from a 1943 cookbook I found at a garage sale and explores the assumptions made by the book’s editors and by the culture of the early 1940s, emphasizing women’s conflicting role expectations and portraying the resulting repressed anger. The BirdWoman series features abstract figurative forms and contains symbols of women’s flight, movement, and hope. The Cuba Dozen reflects my travel experiences which changed my perspective of a place closed to exploration by Americans. The Circus Memories series is my creation of an abstract visual narrative of cherished childhood memories of going to the circus with my father.

In sum, the ten years have been a period of intensive growth as an artist, of exploration and discovery, and curiosity and resolution.

(c) Judy Rookstool 2019